Cleveland, family to discuss settlement after woman's death

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The city of Cleveland and the family of a mentally ill woman who collapsed and died after struggling with police officers have informed a judge they're willing to negotiate a possible settlement in the family's lawsuit.

Tanisha Anderson, 37, died in November 2014 after officers were called to her home. A medical examiner determined that she stopped breathing after officers put her on the ground on her stomach and that heart problems and mental illness contributed to her death.

Anderson's family hired former Deputy Los Angeles Police Chief Lou Reiter, who said in a July report that the officers acted "contrary to generally accepted police practices." He said their actions were "unreasonable and excessive for the circumstances."

The city denied allegations that police used excessive force.

U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent plans to hold a settlement conference Jan. 6, reported ( ) Thursday.

The discussions come as the city, the U.S. Department of Justice and a monitor finalize new policies on how officers deal with people with mentally illness. The policies were required under a settlement between Cleveland and the Justice Department.

David Malik, an attorney for the Anderson family, said settlement discussions will include something other than a monetary settlement. He wouldn't elaborate. A city spokesman wouldn't comment on the pending litigation.

A criminal probe into two officers has lasted more than two years. The family has expressed frustration about the length of that investigation.


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